5th Day of Surgery

June 25, 2010 § Leave a comment

Boran Buon, about an hour before surgery

I must confess something.  I’ve developed a crush on a Khmer boy named Boran Buon. He was admitted to the children’s ward for a pre op about half hour ago.  What struck me about him was that since the first clinic day, he was smiling.  He was the only kid at the prescreening day who looked genuinely happy instead of confused or frightened.  At 14 years old, Boran is one of the few older children having surgery.   Unlike most other children, who are scared going into and coming out of surgery, Boran is old enough to understand that this surgery could change his life forever.  In a couple hours, he will wake up with a functional hand.

Boran, just minutes before surgery. The look on his face says it all.

While learning to take his first steps at 1 year old, Boran tripped and   his right hand fell into a pot of boiling sugar being cooked over an open fire.  This burned and fused his fingers.   For 13 years, he has lived with a non-functional hand.  Today, that may be changed.   Just minutes before surgery, he looks like the happiest boy on earth.

Boran’s mother had heard that our team was coming from a radio announcement.  She and her son have traveled 120 miles for the chance to be selected for surgery.  Their bus ride cost them $5 for a one-way ticket.  That’s almost the average weekly wage in Cambodia.

I am ecstatic for him, and I truly cannot wait to see him come out of surgery.

Time to go.  Elena, our OR nurse, is wheeling him into the OR.

"Suksaby-tay?" asks Elena. Meaning, how are you?

–Linda Nguyen

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